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Fans across the state rarely need any extra incentive to watch Iowa and Iowa State square off in any sport.

This year's edition of the women's basketball matchup between the two in-state rivals offers more than just state-bragging rights for fans. It provides a showdown of two of the top point guards in the country.

Senior point guards Samantha Logic and Nikki Moody will go head to head for what will likely be the final time in a pair of brilliant individual careers when No. 24 Iowa (7-2) hosts Iowa State (5-1) at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

"Definitely if I wasn't playing it would be fun to watch those two battle it out," Iowa sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. "There's no doubt that's a fun match for people to watch."

Both point guards will bring impressive career resumes and lead talented backcourts into Thursday's annual cross-state showdown.

The 5-foot-9 Logic is the nation's active leader in career assists with 681 and ranks 16th in the country in assists per game this season at 6.1

Moody, a 5-foot-8 native of Dallas, is second among active players with 581 career assists and ranks third in the nation with 7.8 per game this season.

"Just two great point guards," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "I think that is an unbelievable statistic. How often are the top two assist leaders in the whole United States going to face off against each other? That never happens and we have it in Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night."

The similarities between the two seniors don't stop with the ability to set up teammates with baskets.

Both are all-conference honorees, 1,000 point scorers and rank in the top three on their respective teams in rebounding.

Moody is a career 10.5 point per game scorer.

Logic averages 10.8 points per game in her career.

Even the way they play draws comparisons.

"They definitely have similarities, I think they are both extremely scrappy players, I think you can define both of them in that way," Disterhoft said. "I would take Sam, but they are similar and they do have their differences."

Through six games Moody is off to the best season of her career.

She's averaging a career-best 13.7 points per game so far and had a career-high 24 points in the Cyclones' 74-64 win over Stony Brook her last time out.

Logic suffered a sprained MCL in a loss to Louisville last Thursday, but scored 10 points and had four assists in a 78-63 win over Colorado Sunday.

The senior is averaging 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season to go with her 6.1 assists.

"Sam is our leader, she is such a great passer and she is always looking for the open person or to get the next person a great shot," Iowa senior Melissa Dixon said. "It's going to be a good matchup, Moody does the same thing so we are looking forward to it on Thursday."

Moody is 2-1 in her career against the Hawkeyes, including an 83-70 win last year in Ames in which she scored nine points and had five assists.

In the past three meetings between the two teams Moody has scored 34 points and handed out 15 assists.

Logic has 28 points and 11 assists in those games, including a team-high 18 points and four assists in last year's meeting.

Thursday, one of the two point guards will get the final say in the rivalry.

"You get to see two of the best in America going at each other," Bluder said. "What an opportunity."

Reach Ryan Murken at 339-7369 or rmurken@press-citizen.com.

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